Numerous vehicular homicide cases are prosecuted each year by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. The stakes in these matters are extremely high given that a vehicular homicide offense carries the possibility of a decade in state prison. Many vehicle homicides are further complicated by the fact that they are intertwined with driving while intoxicated ("DWI"). Our attorneys are well versed in both death by auto and DWI cases, making a formidable candidate to defend you. The experience of the lawyer at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver spans over 100 years, including significant time serving as prosecutors. If you were in an accident that resulted in an arrest for vehicular homicide in Toms River, Manchester, Barnegat, Brick Township, Lacey or another municipality in Ocean County, we have an attorney with the tools to fully protect you. Contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500 to talk to a defense lawyer absolutely free.Charges for Accidents That Result in Death: Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is a second degree crime in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5. This statute provides that "criminal homicide constitutes vehicular homicide when it is caused by driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly." An individual operates a car, truck or boat recklessly when they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death by virtue of the manner of their operation. N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5 specifically sets forth three instances where reckless exists. First, recklessness is inferred when a fatal accident results from the accused falling asleep at the wheel after having been without sleep for a period in excess of 24 consecutive hours. The second way recklessness is inferred is where it is established that the defendant was operating a hand-held cell phone at the time of the collision. The third and final scenario where recklessness is inferred under 2C:11-5 is when a motorist commits a DWI or driving under the influence of drugs ("DUI") at the time of the accident.
Grading. As previously stated, vehicular homicide (a.k.a. death by auto) is typically a second degree crime. However, the violation escalates to a first degree crime if the defendant was operating his/her vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol within a school zone when the accident occurred.
Penalties. The standard penalties for a second degree crime like vehicular homicide include 5-10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. In addition, where the vehicular homicide is DWI/DUI related, a period of parole ineligibility is imposed. The defendant must serve at least one-third of his/her sentence (i.e. term of imprisonment) before they may be considered for release on parole.Brick Township Vehicular Homicide Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with a vehicular homicide in Brick Township, Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor, Jackson, Lakehurst or Berkeley, it is imperative that you retain a proven criminal defense lawyer to protect your interests. The lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver will dedicate themselves to your defense and fight to insure that you get out of this dilemma with the best possible result If you would like to discuss your vehicular homicide charges or a related DWI with an attorney on our team, call us anytime 24/7 for a free consultation at (732) 286-6500.